We’re going on 3 years of having at least one of our kids in peanut-free classrooms, and in that time, we’ve actually had fun and embraced the challenge of finding simple, healthy alternatives to our favorite PB&J sandwich.
If you’re looking for some nut-free lunch solutions, or are just stuck in a peanut butter rut, these ideas are sure to get your juices flowing! They are all finger foods that can be eaten cold – perfect for packing in the school lunch bag!
1. Cucumber sandwiches: These were a big hit with my girls last year. We would change it up between cucumbers with cream cheese and cucumbers with Miracle Whip.
2. Salami and cream cheese sandwich: Meat and cheese sandwiches are great alternatives to PB&Js. The trick is finding out which meat and cheese combos your kids love. Right now their favorite is Black Forrest Ham with Smoked Gouda.
4. Cream cheese and jelly sandwich: Another favorite around here. My kids would eat these everyday if I let them!
5. Turkey and cranberry sandwich: These are great around the holidays, and the cranberries give the sandwich a delicious tangy sweetness. You can find a simple recipe for homemade cranberry sauce here.
Roll-Ups and Wraps
6. Turkey and cream cheese roll-ups: These often show up as appetizers at parties, but they’re just as at home in your kiddo’s lunchbox!
8. Healthy hummus wrap: I was so surprised when I learned that my picky eaters like hummus. Use it wrapped with veggies for a lunch that’s healthy and tasty.
9. Pizza roll-ups: There aren’t very many foods that both of my kids like, but pizza is definitely one of them. Try this variation of the famous kid-pleaser
10. Sushi sandwich with cream cheese: This is a fun, non-fishy way to pack your bento with sushi
11. Lettuce wraps: Wrap chicken salad or egg salad in lettuce and keep the forks at home!
12. Sushi sandwich with tuna: Tuna salad is a lot more fun dressed up as sushi
These recipes easily go from the dinner table to the lunch box the next day!
13. Quesadillas: Keep ’em simple with just cheese, or add chicken and veggies to squeeze a little more nutrition between the layers!
14. Frittatas: Eggs, cheese, and veggies are much more portable as a frittata.
15. Veggie pizza: Add your little one’s favorite veggies and I promise, he will love this!
16. Baked chicken fingers: Perfect for dinner with the kids, then add the leftovers right to the lunch box for the next morning.
18. Healthier-Pigs-in-a-Blanket: The “pigs” in this recipe are actually turkey dogs. Add some cheese and they will be an instant favorite.